tv Inside Washington PBS June 11, 2010 8:30pm-9:00pm EDT
>> what do you think of when you see a tree? but treatment for cancer? alternative fuel for our cars? do you think of hope for the informant, or food, clothing, -- help for the environment, or food, clothing, shelter? we do. weyerhaeuser, growing ideas. >> you now face your worst nightmare -- two businesswomen who know how to create jobs, balanced budgets, and get things done. >> this week on "inside washington," big wins in california for a couple of big business veterans. in arkansas, democratic incumbents survived a near-death
experience. >> you are great, arkansas. >> the nightmare in the gulf continues and is worse than we thought. >> it is ruining our paradise. >> the last company that people in at the gulf coast on tuesday go bankrupt is b becausep we are depending on them. >> in a magical evening in the nation's capital, a gifted young man lives up to his advance billing. captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org-- thanks to the financial meltdown and a disaster in the gulf of mexico, big business is currently experiencing a major public relations headache, we all know that. but that did not stop california voters from nominating two four c e l's in a top republican primaries -- meg whitman, a former ceo of ebay, and carly
fiorina, former head of hewlett- packard. and democratic senator blanche lincoln survived a major challenge in arkansas, even with a multimillion-dollar campaign against her from organized labor and left-of-center advocacy groups. what is going on, mark? >> who knows? one thing we are sure of is that the star of the last four weeks politically is bill clinton. he went to pennsylvania with the attack but the's sea, the one national democrat -- with jack murtha apostasy, the one national democrat who went in, and mark critz winds for democrats. in arkansas, blanche lincoln was written off as dead on arrival, and bill clinton stands up and accuses big labor, who bailed his wife's campaign two years ago, and save her bacon. >> al gore, are you listening? charles? >> i would endorse that.
clinton represents a classic democratic centrism. he was a left-of-center politician, extremely successful triangulator. in arkansas, you had centrism were presented by lincoln and clinton against the unions of the left. the message is that obama is fairly toxic and clinton is gold if you are a democrat. >> nina? >> knows how different -- clinton knows how to frame a message better than anybody i can think of. i don't know what this election is about. but what is clear is that in each place, it is both a state- centered and party-centric. both of these women in california were pushed pretty far to the right. they now have to somehow remove, and order to get elected, in a state that is somewhat to the left. >> colby?
>> there is no trend to talk about here. what happened in arkansas was different from what happened in california and south carolina. the results turned on local issues and local personalities. i think bill clinton was a factor, but he was in arkansas, for goodness' sake they love him down there. he did good work framing the issues. outsiders telling us what to do. >> as the song goes, i am out of work, out of my head, out of self respect. listen to carly fiorina. >> where are the private sector jobs? why do we keep losing jobs? why does the unemployment rate continued to climb despite all the so-called government stimulus? and why is government spending out of control? >> can shee beat barbara boxer? >> both carly fiorina and meg
whitman were pushed very hard to the right on immigration in california. why is that important? between 1948 and 1992, only one democrat terry california for president, lyndon johnson in 1964. since 1then, the emergence of the latino vote becoming a bigger issue, no republican has carry california, and eighit has not even been competitive. john mccain ended his campaign there early. with one in five voters being latino in november in california, it could be a real uphill fight. >> governor schwarzenegger -- >> he would be a separate -- >> in washington, the conventional wisdom is that barbara boxer is a weak candidate. but when she won the first time, she beat all sorts of people who were supposed beat her.
carly fiorina laid off many people at hewlett-packard and got into a huge fight with her board. >> all the states that republicans could pick up in the senate, they have seven or eight good shots. this one is an outlier. there was euphoria after the brown victory in massachusetts on the republican side. well, everything is now open it. it is not. there was a lot of over- confidence by republicans in january. i think there is a lot cooler heads now, and i think that the analysis is a right. the fact that the candidates were pushed right on immigration, although meg whitman opposed the arizona law and kept herself this side of disaster, it is going to hurt them. democrats have a shot to retain the seats in california. >> blanche lincoln in arkansas, organized labor against her, a democrat, and left-wing groups. >> outsiders, essentially.
she had a great ground game, in the sense that she you where the voters were and got them to the polls. the notion that big money is coming in at to beat her is the kind of thing that energizes people in arkansas. we saw a lot of things happene that suggests that the whole question of what is going to happen turns locally. take nev., for example. harry reid is back in the game. >> let's talk about harry reid in a minute. i want to ask about bill clinton possible in arkansas. are we going to see more of him? >> selectively. he did well this time, but he did not do such a great job for hillary clinton during the presidential campaign. as a matter of fact, some said
he was an albatross. >> that is different. he is not married to black lincoln -- not married to blanche lincoln. that is a big difference. another thing thais that if you look at the lincoln vote, it is interesting. her opponent was counting on a solid vote from minorities and labor. she got a big tturnout from african-americans and did well in the "cities" in arkansas where she was not supposed to. >> it also helps that her opponent spent 20 of the last 25 years outside the state of arkansas. >> rural-urban twist on its head. the expectation was that blanche lincoln, from rural arkansas, chairman of the senate agriculture committee, a small- town girl -- she lost 60-40 in the small towns , but smallwo -- but she won little rock and the
metropolitan areas. 1972, david pryor, with labor union backing, was expected to beat his opponent. the only election david pryor ever lost. >> colby mentioned harry reid. politics in nevada and south carolina. >> we said no to the dark side of politics. >> nikki haley could become south carolina's first woman governor. there will be a runoff, but she beat three men. >> they threw as much distractions as they could but we stayed determined. >> accusations of adultery it could be a distraction. she got a nice boost from several palin. >> she is back, isn't she?
she has a fairly good score card read a lot of the candidates she endorsed did well. the real story is the success of these women. it was not women's issues. it is almost a generational thing, women going into a professional schools and business in the 1970's, after two generations of that, they have achieved equality without talking about a women's issue itself. that is one of the most remarkable developments. >> they also have equality in terms of being accused of adultery, may be wrongly, too. >> that up until now has been a rare event. >> what, adultery? [laughter] >> the accusation against women as opposed to mend. men are animals, so it is expected. it is not usually expected with women. it had less resonance. i think people felt sort of angered by the accusations in this case. i don't want to make too big a sociological analysis of that. >> i never turned down a chance
for a sociological analysis -- >> especially on television. >> i think what charles said is 85% true and we will leave it to listeners to decide what percent is not. stu rothenberg, national political analyst, said that south carolina is the national stinkhole of republican politics, and it is. 2000, the campaign against john mccain, the accusations of the illegitimacy of his daughter, ugly stuff, and this is part and parcel. after mark sanford and the appalachian trail and the argentine firecracker, they were embarrassed, and the charge against nikki haley was i think a bridge too far. our republican state senator goes on our radio show and says she is "a raghead like our president is," i think the self- respect of south carolina said we cannot have any more of this. >> voters in south carolina
voted for a fellow who spent $10,445 for the primary feet, and nobody has ever heard of him and may never hear of him again. >> 100,000 people in south carolina voted for him. he is at the top of the ballot. what more do you need? he is a nice fellow -- >> this is south carolina, apparently not the first time when they have had somebody win out of the blue with no campaign and file $10,000 -- the amount you have to file is $10,000 to get on the ballot, at the entrance fee, essentially. nobody can figure out where he got a $10,000, since he was indigent while facing obscenity charges just a few months earlier. this has happened before, apparently di. >> he is alleged to have shown up on a proper website to a university of south carolina --
a pornographic websites to the university of south carolina at student. >> give the guy a break. >> harry reid. >> harry reid got a gift on election day. he has an opponent who wants to abolish social security, medicare, wants to bring nuclear waste to yucca mountain. >> this would be sharron angle. >> to give to keeps on giving. >> -- the gift who keeps on giving. >> watch what you wish for. democrats used to say they wanted ronald reagan. ronald reagan beat their pants off every time he ran, and formed an entire movement. >> i knew ronald reagan, he was not a friend of mine, but i knew him, and sharron angle is no ronald reagan. harry reid cannot win.
nevada has 13.7% unemployment, leads the nation in foreclosures and personal bankruptcy, and harry reid is in the 30's in a favorable ratings. he cannot win, but sharron angle and lose. -- can lose. she has given in the tool to make is not a referendum on harry reid and the democrats but a choice between harry reid, sensible, middle-of-the-road, gets things done for nevada and keeps nuclear waste out, versus sharron angle, who will threaten the social security. >> amazingly, mark is right. i am not sure how that happened, but occasionally it does. in kentucky and nevada, republicans have nominated, let's say, fringe candidates. libertarian in kentucky. i am not sure what to call sharron angle. this will jeopardize two possible pickups. it is a double edge of the tea party phenomenon. it gives a huge amount of energy if the more extreme candidate
does not win the nomination. if the more centrist wins and uses the energy of the tea party, then the republicans will have success. >> misery in the gulf of mexico continues pretty who will pay for the cleanup? the situation keeps going from bad to worse. new estimates of the spill oare on the estimate of the exxon valdez spill. attorney general eric holder claims it will not cost the american people a dime and that bp will be held responsible. the president of the chamber of commerce says that taxpayers should be contributing to the cleanup. what you think of that, colby? >> he is referring -- reflecting the views of the chamber of commerce and the private sector, so is john boehner, apparently --
>> no, he backed off from that. >> there is a lot in the way of helping them, and that taxpayers are going to pick up some part of the tab. bp is going to spend a large chunk of money on it. but we are all in this thing. >> look, there is no way that anybody can make the gulf whole. their economy is going to be savaged and dumped for at least two years, probably more like 10. the entire fishing industry is gone. who is going to swim in the water and be on those beaches? and there is this chain effect. if you run across down there, how do you say, "i was affected by the spill"? of course, you are, but i don't know how you get damages from it. a is serious and will hurt the economy and may hurt the
recovery. >> we heard what mary landrieu said, that it bp goes up, and that of people in the gulf will go up, too, because they depend on bp for their livelihood. >> our closest ally, great britain -- this is the british petroleum co. did not only did he become the political football and piñata, and that is fine, understandably and legitimately so, but the stock prices down 40%. the big holders of are the british pensioners. there is a ripple effect that is beyond anything tom donahue or john boehner is talking about. >> one british politician said that obama has his foot on the neck of the british pensioner, because what in seven has bp -- one in seven has bp stock.
it is understandable that obama would want to go after bp as the big industrial bogeyman to boost his own sagging polls on this issue. it is good populist shtick. but when you go and have eric holder announced that there will be criminal charges, on that day, the collapse of the stock price of bp was gratuitous. we are going to need the bp money. mary landrieu was right, where are you going to get the money? they will contribute to a lot of the cleanup. they ought to back off a bit on the cheap populism. >> on a lighter note, it does strike me that the president is going through some real contortions. get mad. i remember coaching little league football, and we had these little 60-pound kids, and
every now and then you would hear fathers say, "get mean!" there is not a mean bone in their bodies. it is like, this is happening with obama. get mean, obama! "well, i am going to kick some butt now." >> this is cheap shot for a cheap shot. he said that in response to something that sarah palin said, why he would not call tony would talk to him. he said, " i need to talk to the expert --" >> she is not president of the united states. >> but this is just stupidness on both their parts. >> stupidity. >> president obama says that the new sanctions on iran at the toughest yet. >> the toughest sanctions ever
faced by the iranian government, and it sends an unmistakable message about the international community's commitment to stopping the spread of nuclear weapons. >> turkey and brazil voted against the sanctions, which supposedly banned iran from investing in to certain nuclear energy and the sale of heavy weapons like tanks and cargo. >> it is not going to stop iran from doing what it is doing, building towards a nuclear weapon. i am not sure that it isolates iran the way the president talks about. this is not the end game. iran is probably the biggest problem facing the obama administration, although we are having to die being in afghanistan. ultimately, we have to do something about it, because it poses a threat. >> iraq, afghanistan, pakistan -- >> let me stay on iran sanctions for one second.
this is not the end of the road. the administration went 16 months and produce a mouse. these sanctions are completely hollow. on the weaponry, one example -- the most important weapon we wanted to stop was the anti- aircraft batteries, which is the russians are selling iran. once those are in place, it becomes involved rubble. if they are delivered, it will trigger an israeli attack. on the banking issue, at the united states wanted to act on the central bank of iran, and it was left out. the sanctions are completely hollow, the demonstration of the fecklessness of the international community and how sanctions are essentially dead. >> i don't know if they will work. i hope they will but i do know that afghanistan is going south
at a big hurry and people are coming home in boxes from there. that is the real story rather than in iran right now, to me, that the americans are fighting and dying in afghanistan in an effort that appears -- >> you are saying the mcchrystal plan isn't working? >> i have spent the week, just incidentally, talking to a bunch of people in the military, and that is what i am getting back from them. they are saying that we cannot stick our entire foreign policy on this, because they are coming to the conclusion that we cannot really win there. terrorists pose as much of a threat in yemen, for example. we cannot do this on every front. but when you hear that from the military people, you start to wonder. >> that is why you come back to where we started, in iran.
ultimately, something is going to have to happen there. if you say that the sanctions are useless, what next, then? what next? a third military front that we are going to take on? afghanistan, which is not going well -- now we do something with iran? where do we go at this point? >> i don't think the united states will attack iran but i don't think even the bush administration ever would have. you are right, we have a war on two fronts. our question is, all we going to give a yellow light if for a transcript of this broadcast, log on to insidewashington.tv. -- iosf israel says we are going to attack iran or not? >> if israel attacks iran, there
will be a response from other countries. what do we do then? >> let me see if i can sure anybody up. there is a new kid in town and he has a wonderful fastball and curveball. last in the american league, at the old joke about the washington senators did not so anymore. we have a new kid with a curve ball and 14 strikeouts, and nina totenberg was there. >> it was such a fabulous game. the crowd was so excited. all i could think was, the yankees have a scout here prodigious have to figure out how much to pay him when he finally goes into free agents -- they just have to figure out how much to pay him when he goes into free agency. >> you were there, too, charles. >> it was the greatest game i've ever seen. i once saw sandy koufax pitch
when i was a kit, so that is a high standard. it is not just that he had the greatest debut ever, it is that in the whole 110 years of baseball, this has all happened about six times where anybody has struck out 14, no walks in seven innings or less. it was a performance that was astonishing. the best part was how modest the kid is. he did not glory in it, he took it like a kid the way he is, and he has a great makeup. it was one of the great moments in sports. >> i saw the pitch of the game, too, on tv. i want to say a word for the organization. they did not rush in and out into the big leagues. they took their time and got him gradually to this point. >> harry reid and mitch
mcconnell on the senate floor yesterday agreed on something, stephen strasburg. that is what this means for the city. baseball is important to washington for the following reasons -- in baseball, i don't care who your lobbyist or lawyer is, how much your influence is, three strikes and you are out. nobody is going to change that, and there is not going to be regulation or deregulation of eight. that is why washington use the example of baseball. >> last word. thanks. see you next week. for a transcript of this broadcast, log on to insidewashington.tv.